Letter-c Day 32

In case you’re new to my blog and wondering why I name my posts the letter-c. with the day.  I’ll save you time scrolling back thru my posts. I have malignant cancer cells in my bile duct. On May 14th, a biopsy was done when they removed the stent that had been placed in the bile duct to allow it to heal on March 8th after being aggravated by gall stones that had escaped when they removed my gall bladder back on January 8th. Yes, we’re talking about a six month time frame. I’ve had multiple blood screenings which thus far haven’t shown the protons that pancreatic cancer emits. The blood screens are helping the doctors monitor my liver numbers since haven’t gone back down to the norm. Which is also another warning that things are not right.

Today, I met with my doctor. The poor man had no idea how stubborn and determined I am to be active in every part of the decision of my treatment. A month ago, he indicated that his patients trust him. He scheduled an MRI and blood work before having me come in to discuss what he thought was best. I took the time today to explain where I come from. I told him all about my family history, yes there’s a lot of cancer. It’s not a question of trust. It’s because I made the mistake with my first and second rounds of cancer to not ask enough questions or to push for my care.

My first abnormal pap smear happened when I was 22. They did pap smears every three months. Every one was abnormal but they took a wait and see approach. I became pregnant with youngest daughter and then thr doctor said I couldn’t carry my baby to term because it was too risky. He recommended an abortion. Wrong! I changed doctors and carried my daughter full term. Then I had a radical hysterectomy followed by chemo. I was 24 years old and naive.

When I was 44, I was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Once again, the doctor took a wait and see approach. That also didn’t work out well and I had to have surgery followed by radiation. Bonus gift from the radiation, I ended up with breast cancer. Doctor didn’t tell me how high the risks were because he felt it was the best choice. I wish I had known all the risks and been included in the decision but I wasn’t given that option.

I had two different doctors this time, a wonderful surgeon (woman) who talked openly with me about the risks of leaving my breast in tact and doing the lumpectomy. The other doctor (man) was pushing strongly for me to have both of my breasts removed because of my family history and the fact that I have the BRCA1 genetic factor. I was divorced, in the early stages of a new relationship getting cut up wasn’t something I wanted. I knew the risks but I also remembered how devastated my grandmother was after losing her breasts. It wasn’t easy for her. I was lucky the surgeon did an amazing job, all I have is a minimal scar. The chemo stole my hair, and I was sick for a long time. I was lucky. So damn lucky. That was fifteen years ago.

I learned a lot with each experience but the most valuable lesson was to be my best advocate. Good decisions are based on having all the facts regardless. I’m 64 years old and this is my fourth cancer diagnosis. My doctor listened today, made a phone call to an oncologist that specializes in gastric cancers. The oncologist added his thoughts to conversation. Gastric cancers are typically bile, pancreas,liver, small or large intestine and stomach. I go July 7th to meet the oncologist in person. During the conference call, we decided to do another blood screening because my liver numbers are important indicators. I have to schedule that yet.  On August 11th, I have an upper gi screening, colonoscopy and the endoscopic ultra sound. Three important tests to make sure all the bases are covered.

I came home today feeling less stressed because they listened, really listened. I don’t feel as afraid as I did. It’s a good thing because putting on a happy face is exhausting.

It was very warm today at 91 degrees.. Early this morning I watered my herbs and
veggies in the rail planters but this evening when I went to water the lower patio garden
I checked. They were bone dry. I watered the upper garden and lower garden. The
weather report indicates were in for very warm days for the next fifteen days here in Jersey.
I love the seasons but I wish summer hadn’t rushed the heat. I expect July and August too be hot but not June.  It was 97 degrees in Caribou Maine. That’s crazy. The last time that happened was in 1977 and before that was 1944. I hope the high temperatures aren’t going to be like this all summer.

In 1983, was the first time I heard this song by Eurythmics. The lyrics could’ve been written for me. I was looking for something, and it seemed like every direction something happened. I never found that something but I knew I couldn’t stop because I was so very unhappy in my marriage. My children were my world and I buried myself in them and stopped looking until they were adults. In 2003, I filed for divorce.The world was mine and I knew what sweet dreams really were. Being single was mighty fine and nothing to be afraid of at forty-seven.

“Sweet dreams are made of this
Who am I to disagree?
I traveled the world
And the seven seas
Everybody’s looking for something
Some of them want to use you
Some of them want to get used by you
Some of them want to abuse you
Some of them want to be abused
Sweet dreams are made of this
Who am I to disagree?
I traveled the world
And the seven seas
Everybody’s looking for something”~ Eurythmics
It’s been 34 days since I’ve slept peacefully, tonight is looking good.  Even the strongest women get tired at times. ❤

letter-c day 31

I took my coffee outside this morning, I needed the change of pace from the living room. I relaxed into the patio chair and let my senses control the moment to block my mind from going down the darker path.  The birds chirped with the occasional squawk from a disgruntled one.  He’s probably irritated that I was sitting near one of the feeders, but I wasn’t inclined to give up my seat. I heard the vehicles in the distance on 295. We’re located not far from an exit ramp so I do notice the difference in vehicle speeds and sounds. The sweet smell of moist soil, and the blossoms in bloom soon became apparent once I closed my eyes and allowed myself to simply breathe. It was a clean, fresh and pleasant smell. There’s nothing worse than the smell of ammonia or a rotten smell. If you don’t know it’s an indicator the soil is lacking oxygen. I opened my eyes and observed the glorious colors surrounding me… orange, red, yellow, purple, pink, burgundy, and various shades of green. My flowers are blooming profusely in spite of the lack of rain.  ( I’ve been filling buckets of water to let the chlorine dissipate so they’re not burned by the high doses in our water supply.  Trenton Water is the worst, comes close or may have even surpassed Flint, Michigan on quality so all my veggies are watered with filtered water.)

The neighbor yelling into her phone disrupted my peaceful break. I know she’s elderly but there are times even with the doors and windows shut I can still hear her.  That’s what happens when the neighbors are too damn close. She wished him Happy Father’s Day. I’m not sure how to handle my phone calls today. One son, I can wish him Happy Father’s day but the other son its a horrific reminder of what happened 11 months ago. His son is gone.  I will call them both but the conversations will be entirely different. Then there’s my hubby, his children treated him so badly after his divorce they’re alienated. So he doesn’t need a reminder, either.

It didn’t take long for my thoughts to wander to tomorrow. My doctor’s appointment to get things happening for the good or the bad. Part of me has this urge to simply flee.  I know fear stimulates that fight or flight response but it also forces us into action. Fear makes us pay attention. Fear makes us sit up and take note. I’m tired of keeping a stiff upper lip and pushing forward. I ‘m very aware fear helps us honor our reality. I also know there is no shame in saying I’m afraid because being afraid isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s actually an essential component of courage. Fear and courage allow us to make a leap of faith, despite what terrifies us. But… yeah there is always a dang but… it’s easier said than done. I’ve decided to keep myself busy with mundane tasks so my mind can’t dwell any more on tomorrow. Avoidance works, but so does putting on the stranger’s mask.

“Well, we all have a face that we hide away forever
And we take them out and show ourselves when everyone has gone
Some are satin, some are steel
Some are silk and some are leather
They’re the faces of a stranger
But we’d love to try them on

You may never understand how the stranger is inspired
But he isn’t always evil and he is not always wrong
Though you drown in good intentions
You will never quench the fire
You’ll give in to your desire when the stranger comes along” ~ Billy Joel.

I very seldom let the satin or my silk ones show because being vulnerable is something I don’t allow myself very often after the lessons I had early on in life. My vulnerabilities were capitalized and used to their advantage. I’m not saying all people are like that but unfortunately some are. These days I wear my armor proudly and only slip them off when I am safe with the ones I love. Although, I will admit there have been times when I’ve been fooled by good intentions only to see later that fire should have been heavily doused.

My book purchase about Herbal Remedies, the Healing Power of Plant Medicine by Nicole Apelian and Claude Davis finally arrived so along with the Cancer -Fighting Cookbook I will be helping my body fight this dang letter-c on every level. Never dismiss the ways of the our ancestors, herbs are beneficial in addition to being might tasty.

I did have  fun visitors yesterday, although they did jump me initially. I was watering my lower patio garden area when two bunnies decided to hop out from under the giant hostas. I knew had I had chipmunks but didn’t realize bunnies have no relocated in my yard. I don’t know if they’ll be discouraged as easily by the cinnamon and peppermint as the the chipmunks have been. We’ll see. My green beans and tomato plants have doubled in size since a week ago. My cucumber and pepper plants not so much.  I’m glad my kale, lettuce and basil are really thriving in the rail planters, out of the bunnies and chipmunks reach.

Hopefully, today I finish One of Us is Next. I’ve been struggling to finish it. It simply isn’t holding my attention. I started diyMFA by Gabriela Pereira yesterday. Thus far the approach to a MFA writing mind is something I need to get better doing. I tend to multi-task way too much and put my writing second. I don’t want it second or to be an after-thought as the day ends. I see the value in scheduling my writing consistently.

I’m working on the lower band of my crocheted shirt I’m working on in lion’s brand cotton. It reminds me a lot of the yarn I used all those years ago when I made the doilies for my night stands and kitchen table. I’m glad the pattern didn’t call for one of those small steel hooks because they really annoyed my wrist more than the larger hooks did. It never made sense to me because the repetitious motion is the same regardless of the hook size.

Happy Father’s Day to the Dad’s who do follow me. ❤

Letter-c Day 30

 

Can there be such a thing as too much sky? Maybe the joke really is on me, only ominous dark clouds hover. Where are the blue skies and white billowy marshmallow clouds? The ones as a child you imagined were different animal shapes with your friends lying on a blanket with not a care in the world. Or at least not something that you will say out loud because it will change the dynamics of the moment.

As an adult, those days feel like centuries ago. Who has time to idly lie, looking up at a sky that never really gave me comfort like it did my friends. I wonder if they see the dark clouds too, or is this a warning just for me because I stopped believing in humanity. There’s a revolution in the air beckoning me.

It’s too late to change my mind. I hear the crow cawing in the distance. 

This is another snippet of the vignettes I’m writing. Yes, Tulsa is on my mind and the sheer ignorance occurring. Think about it, to schedule the event right after June 19th, a date used to commemorate the delayed emancipation of American slaves, and to pick a location seven blocks from the site of the infamous 1921 race massacre in Tulsa, Okla., when white rioters, helped by Tulsa police and the Oklahoma National Guard to loot and burn 1,200 black businesses and homes and killing 300 people.  Was the intent to deepen the racial issues? I believe it is.

The Bee Gees song came to mind this morning I started a joke when I thought about our leadership. If only people would see the joke is on them, too!

 

I finished Dare Me by Megan Abbott. Yup, I’ve read two of her books this week. I’ll be sending them on to my granddaughter, Caitlyn. I think she’ll enjoy them because both books address issues teenage girls face as they evolve to adults, the mean girls look mild. I wouldn’t recommend the book myself but a writing friend did. It wasn’t the topic or story line but how the author used meandering and spirals in the relationships to move the story was what my friend wanted me to see in practice. That was interesting but the overall story wasn’t my cup of tea.

I tossed some mushrooms into a pan last night with garlic and olive oil letting the flavors merge before adding spinach, kale, and beet greens and grape tomatoes to the mix. I added fresh basil, oregano, zucchini spirals and then covered the pan with the heat off while the wheat spaghetti finished cooking. I added the pasta and mixed to blend the flavors and served it with salmon that had been grilled with fresh pesto I had made earlier.  Dinner tasted awesome until the reflux and pain began.

My basil, kale and beet greens are growing so well in spite of the hot and humid weather. We’ve had brief thunderstorms but no substantial rain so I’ve been watering daily. Today, is another one of those days brief showers that only tease the plants but don’t nurture them.

I’m working on another poem today. I was sitting on the deck with my coffee looking at the spent blooms of my rose bushes.

the lonely roses were left to decay
abandoned like the lovers of life
twas their last brilliant performance
a lifeblood that only lingers

in  circles of garden fame until
denied by another profuse array.
Their demise demands another to bloom
but in a moment of inspiration

or maybe sheer desperation

the roses defiantly gathered it petals
for an encore to remember. ©

Letter-c Day 29

Stairway to Heaven
There’s a lady who’s sure
All that glitters is gold
And she’s buying a stairway to Heaven
When she gets there she knows
If the stores are all closed
With a word she can get what she came for
Oh oh oh oh and she’s buying a stairway to Heaven
There’s a sign on the wall
But she wants to be sure
‘Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings
In a tree by the brook
There’s a songbird who sings
Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiving
Ooh, it makes me wonder
Ooh, it makes me wonder
There’s a feeling I get
When I look to the west
And my spirit is crying for leaving
In my thoughts I have seen
Rings of smoke through the trees
And the voices of those who standing looking
Ooh, it makes me wonder
Ooh, it really makes me wonder
And it’s whispered that soon, If we all…
*************************************************************************************
All of us are guilty for wanting to know what lies ahead after we pass. Are there green meadows or is everything white and pure or is it shiny and sparkly like some of the churches I’ve been inside. (The amount of money spent on the decor, could easily feed thousands of homeless people, but that’s another rant for another day.)
When I look at the picture on the video I think of all the steps I’ve taken over the years, some were really easy and others took effort.
In my younger years when I worked during the summer for Northern Outdoors, there were steps going down to the Kennebec River at the halfway point for the white water rafters. The drivers delivered the food to the designated pick up spot on the river which was at the base of those rail road tie steps. Going down wasn’t too bad but having to go up and down them several times to deliver the food used to exhaust me initially. At summer’s end, the stairs weren’t challenging at all. I did it.
I remember going up the stairs in Philly trying to imitate Rocky with my granddaughters, I got my ass kicked. I had to pause and catch my breath every few steps. Gramma doesn’t give up. I hope they always remember that.
Yesterday, frustration got the better of me and I indulged with a favorite drink of mine. The mojito didn’t hurt anymore than if I had drank a cup of coffee or tea. But it fulfilled the quest of breaking doctor’s orders when it has less impact than later on. I enjoyed the drink, especially the fresh mint from the garden. I don’t know if you’ve had a mojito but for me as I drink it I loved chewing on the mint too. Nothing worse than going to a bar and there’s only one piece of mint… grrrrrr. I felt sated with one and didn’t want another. Sometimes, you just have to satisfy the urge, so the focus goes away.
Carston and Jordi helped me get my grandson’s poem to the place I needed. Both of these men love writing poetry like me. The brevity of words is more powerful when making a statement. Char sent me a poetry submission link, I’m sharing it with both as well as submitting Johnny’s poem and a couple more of mine that I wrote trying to process my grief.
****************************************
I fear almost night
Defiant skies of crimson
Bloodied into streams
Of unconscious truth-seeking
justifiable remorse
****************************************
antics of a boy
invincible illusions
echo silently
reverberations define
manufactured martyrdom
****************************************
no creatures devour
human centered ignorance
the stench is all ours
****************************************
Words boldly impressed
Scribbles upon broken soul
An author’s remorse
****************************************

Letter-c Day 28

“And you’ve got me thinkin’
We should be drinkin’ alone together
Drownin’ the pain is better
With somebody else who got problems
We ain’t gonna solve ’em
But misery loves company
Tonight all I need is a stranger
Lips with a whiskey chaser”~ Carrie Underwood
I know with all that is happening, drinking is the last thing I should be thinking about. It hasn’t been a crutch for me in a long time. I stopped drinking years ago when I picked up a gun and tried to kill myself. That got me a stay in the Psyche ward and quality time with a shrink. It was a turning point in my life at the time, one I really needed. The scar on my head is a constant reminder how close I came to missing so many positive opportunities in my life.
“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.”~Laurell K. Hamilton
I started drinking socially again in 2003, a glass of wine here and there. Occasionally, a mixed drink but never a steady event.  On Wednesday nights, I looked forward to having a drink, sometimes two with my writing friends.  I was tempted more than once to hide in the bottle after my grandson died. I didn’t want to feel at all. But in my mind, I saw my hand holding that pistol again and that image was enough to keep me sober.
Since the doctor called I’ve wanted a drink more than anything. Today isn’t the first day I’ve walked over to the liquor stand we have with a selection of wine and hard liquor. I have choices…lots of choices. Today I walked outside and picked a handful of mint to muddle…and downloaded a recipe. What difference will one drink or a dozen really make in the grand scheme? What’s wrong with having a crutch occasionally? Don’t answer, I’m not in a mood for a lecture either.  I need to be numb.
“Whenever you read a cancer booklet or website or whatever, they always list depression among the side effects of cancer. But, in fact, depression is not a side effect of cancer. Depression is a side effect of dying.”― John Green. Reality check.. cancer thinks it can kill but it hasn’t won yet and it won’t this time.
The hell with it.  I’m drinking a mojito. I may even have a second one. I’m tired of rules today. What did following life’s rules really do for me, for my family. My grandson had a helmet and a chest protector on riding his dirt bike, neither piece of equipment saved his life. I want to be there for my son on the anniversary but I’m scared that I won’t be strong enough. The iron woman is strong but she gets tired, too!
I wrote a poem for you, Johnny because writing how I was feeling wasn’t happening. It’s hard to write when you’re eyes are blurred with tears.  Good thing your Grandma doesn’t bother with makeup I would scare everyone.
I made your Grandpa banana walnut cake because he’s as stressed as I am with all that is happening. It’s bad enough having this letter-c hovering, trying to pay bills with all the covid-19 crap impacting his insurance business. Insurance did involve meeting people face to face, now its a scrambling nightmare as it transitions to over the phone and online. And if that isn’t enough stress, the insurance companies are dragging their asses to pay commissions as well. Heaven forbid a CEO not have his big bank account.  Your Dad and Debbie helped us with the mortgage. I really didn’t want to ask but sometimes pride can also be your worse enemy too.
I know we need to sell this house and move into something cheaper. The hard part for me is this stone fortress is the only place I’ve truly felt safe. I never worry about the roof collapsing or the water flooding the basement or the water freezing like I always had to in the old place.

Dear Johnny

I started writing to you how I feel but became stuck again. I fear the night when the crimson sky appears for the bloodied streams of conscious truth cannot be denied. You’re gone. Time has not made it easier. I’m still angry, just like your Mom and Dad, your family and friends are.

I always do better writing poetry when my emotions are involved.

 

I fear almost night
Defiant skies of crimson
Bloodied into streams
Of unconscious truth-seeking
justifiable remorse

 

We love you, Johnny. Always have, always will.

Grandma and Grandpa

October 15, 2005- July 1, 2019

Letter-c Day 27

There are things to be happy about when it comes to the diagnostics involved thus far. I don’t have the protons found in the later stages of pancreatic cancer. The MRI didn’t show a mass in the pancreas. What is still on the table are the malignant cells found in the entrance of the pancreas and the bile duct. That is why he chose to address it first as pancreatic but with the next diagnostic the goal is to narrow the area. I have an in-person appointment with him to discuss the process, the goals and how we go forward. Pancreatic cancer has a much higher success rate unfortunately than bile duct cancer so everything done now matters when it comes to my longevity.

Once that is appointment is done, I want a second opinion with another doctor so I have done diligence. I respect my doctor’s conservative approach but I also know being conservative in my previous cancers wasn’t successful so I need to be my strongest advocate.  My goal is to be a centenarian so I need to cover every angle and to dot all my i’s and cross all my t’s as my favorite teacher, Mrs. Swenson always reminded us.

That poor woman, I drove her crazy because I refused to capitalize my first name. I always wrote lyn and then capitalized my last name. I felt I was just  me, the true value lies in my family name, the heritage of our existence. I’m sixty four and I still don’t capitalize my first name. I am who I am. A capital will not make me any different.

Mrs. Swenson she inspired my love of reading. She read out loud to every afternoon. Her voice carried us away into the classics every afternoon. My favorite stories were the Prince and the Pauper and the Secret Garden. She opened my mind to the possibilities of becoming a writer. Our assignment was to rewrite our favorite part. It was incredibly exciting to have that kind of power on the page as a ten year old. I was given permission to change a story that was published by an adult anyway I wanted. We talked about what we wrote and why we wanted the story to change in this way. Thinking back, we learned so much about editing,self-expression and using our imagination to improve a story. I’ve re-read both books and rewrote my own story line numerous times over the years. I should create some found poetry with each of them and see where my mind goes.

I had my nerve block done this morning for my migraines. I have crazy pressure following the injections and the only way I can reach a comfortable space is to lie down for a couple hours once I get back home.  Something about lying flat helps, at least for me it does. The afternoon disappeared on me and before I knew it was time for my writing group and then finally get to my blog entry. My emotions are still all over the place and I tire easier than I want to admit. Maybe saving my energy for when I will need it most will be beneficial but unfortunately rest seems to allude me. Another doctor question? I know sleep is highly over-rated but I do need it.

I’m much to young to feel this damn old as Garth Brooks would say.

This ol’ highway’s getting longer
Seems there ain’t no end in sight
To sleep would be best, but I just can’t afford to rest

I’m much too young to feel this damn old
All my cards are on the table with no ace left in the hole
I’m much too young to feel this damn old

Lord, I’m much too young to feel this damn old

 

Letter-c Day 26

“Dare to Be

When a new day begins, dare to smile gratefully.

When there is darkness, dare to be the first to shine a light.

When there is injustice, dare to be the first to condemn it.

When something seems difficult, dare to do it anyway.

When life seems to beat you down, dare to fight back.

When there seems to be no hope, dare to find some.

When you’re feeling tired, dare to keep going.

When times are tough, dare to be tougher.

When love hurts you, dare to love again.

When someone is hurting, dare to help them heal.

When another is lost, dare to help them find the way.

When a friend falls, dare to be the first to extend a hand.

When you cross paths with another, dare to make them smile.

When you feel great, dare to help someone else feel great too.

When the day has ended, dare to feel as you’ve done your best.

Dare to be the best you can –

At all times, Dare to be!” ― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

 

Our lives connect on so many different levels.Unfortunately, we often take for granted how valuable those connections truly are to our daily existence.  There’s the obvious connections, family and friends but what about the less obvious ones… the grocery store clerk we see weekly with the beautiful smile that is now hidden behind the mask, the mailman who delivers those important letters we cherish.

Or the blogger I’ve never met but reads my c-journey.   I don’t want to take you for granted. I want you know I appreciate your support through this.

As I wait for the MRI results initially the impatient me checked my inbox and my phone but then the wiser part of me appeared and I remembered all the things I am truly grateful to have in my life. I am loved and I love. I have so many people taking this journey with me.  I thought of all the people who have faced cancer before me and how they coped as well and for those of you who haven’t battled cancer to know. Each of us dared to be…  We are the World, together we can do anything, everything…

I am going to live in this moment with a smile…

 

 

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.”― Alphonse Karr

“Sometimes life knocks you on your ass… get up, get up, get up!!! Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them.” ― Steve Maraboli

Letter-c Day 25

I heard the chimes late last night or early morning when I had laid back down. Were you visiting Johnny?  I would like to believe it was you. It’s almost been a year since you died. Your parents are still struggling. I thought your Dad was doing better than your Mom but I’m not sure anymore. He’s drinking again and been sarcastic now a couple times to me. I don’t know if its because we’re closer to your one year anniversary or it’s because I have cancer. It’s always been a challenge to understand your Dad.

I had the MRI yesterday, it was uncomfortable and noisy. I hate having anything close to my face. This tube was narrower than some I’ve been inside. Lucky me, they had issues with the music set-up so I got to hear nothing but the rapping of the machine. The headphones didn’t mute the noise enough to stop my migraine from spiking. I puked before I even left their facility. As soon as we got home, I took another pain pill and had a cup of squash soup and a turkey sandwich. Unfortunately,  I ended up with re flux. It was so annoying while trying to participate with my writing group. Thankfully, they couldn’t hear me burping  or see my discomfort until the Prilosec did its thing because we were watching the movie, Invisible Man over Zoom together. The writing and portrayal of the woman’s struggle to free herself from an abusive relationship was excellent. So many of the things she felt hit a chord with me. If you haven’t seen it, I recommend you do.

By the time I hit the sack, it was sheer exhaustion but I didn’t get to sleep through the night because my body decided it needed to upchuck all the nasty bile.

Thus far this morning, my coffee and a Poptart are staying down. I’m reluctant to eat anything else. Yeah, I am one of them who still loves Poptarts. My grandfather, Jonah , used to tell me that my love of Lucky Charms, Poptarts, Dill Pickles and Cheese would diminish as an adult because out taste buds change. Nope, I still enjoy them. Of my four favorites, cheese is the most challenging right now. Grandpa used to say eating all that cheese is going to bind you up. I have just the opposite because of the dairy, it rapidly goes through me now without the gall bladder. Fried food, fatty foods and dairy products, all require me to be very near a bathroom. Probably more than you wanted to know about a stranger but if you’re battling the letter-c this information is helpful because the meal navigation is important if one wants to have some normalcy in their lives.

It’s partly sunny here today, it’s only 75 degrees. I have some weeding and maybe if needed re -saturate the cotton balls with cinnamon and peppermint oil. Thus far the chipmunks have avoided the plants where I put the cotton balls. Woohoo!  Score 1 for me, 0 for the chipmunk. All the seedlings now that they’re not being dug up look pretty good. I can’t wait to pick cherry tomatoes and cucumbers off the vine.

It’s been years since I crocheted a shirt. I decided to work on that and the mandala in the evening. The shirt is easier to lug around than the mandala is. My nerve block is on Wednesday so it’s a perfect to go project. Busy hands keep me calm.

We’re having fish tacos for dinner tonight. I’m looking forward to dining on the deck with Vic and playing a couple games of cribbage. These temperatures are perfect for outside dining especially when the sun is hitting full stream on the stone siding. Once it gets up into the eighties and nineties, the stone makes it too hot to enjoy dinner on the deck.

Remember, the last time we were together, Johnny, we played cribbage on the hotel bed. You were so excited to beat us both. I can still see your beaming smile when you told your Dad, you won. I miss you hon. I chose Melissa Etheridge because you’re on my mind today.

“I would dial the numbers
Just to listen to your breath
I would stand inside my hell
And hold the hand of death
You don’t know how far I’d go
To ease this precious ache
You don’t know how much I’d give

Or how much I can take
Just to reach you
Just to reach you
Oh to reach you” ~ Melissa Etheridge

 

 

 

 

 

Letter-c Day 24

If I asked you to get a fast car, so we could just go anywhere… anywhere where the letter-c can’t go, would you? That’s what I had for fifteen years until twenty six days ago. Two days of just my immediate family knowing before I shared with my close friends and began blogging my way through my feelings. The temptation to simply flee is strong but it won’t make the letter-c go away. It was so much easier as a child… running and climbing trees with reckless abandon without responsibility looming.

I remember thinking that when I was a grown-up I would do anything I want when I want.  No more curfews for me, no more doing chores and especially no more drunk adults screaming like banshees. Curfews and drunk banshees are gone. Chores I actually don’t mind. The hardest part of my childhood desire has been doing anything I wanted. I’ve explored different outlets, found joy in the majority of them and sadness in others. What I didn’t understand as a child, timing is everything. If only… I had that young dreamers energy again.

I said yesterday that Cisneros’ House on Mango Street influenced to try a vignette like hers about hair. Well,  here it is:

Turning the Pages  Vignette 1

Hair

 My father’s hair was blacker than a nighttime sky without a star, yet sometimes it shone like it had its own galaxy hidden, especially when a blue hue appeared within his curls. My mother’s auburn hair was sprayed stiff and sticky with a daily coating of shellac. It was always stiff and scratched my face, so I avoided any close contact with it. The toxic smell kept us at a distance well before social distancing became a norm.

My father’s insistence that his daughter’s hair was long and his son’s hair short determined our appearances in our family. My sister Lori’s dark thick hair waved like the ocean curling across the sand in the night. Her hair bounced lively, showing the golden streaks the sun teased out of the darkness when she walked. My brother Rick’s sandy straight hair always stood up in the back like a submarine periscope. To his dismay, our mother fussed about the way it refused to collapse and would yell at the barber. My poor brother was humiliated every time she took him. He used to beg to go inside alone.  My sister Lisa’s thin blonde hair hung down her back like streams of sunshine coming through a window. My mother would always brag to her friends how angelic she looked with her golden glow. Her ego became as inflated as a hot air balloon with all of our mother’s attention. My sister, Shirley’s hair, was almost as dark as my father’s and as thick as Lori’s but never had a strand out of place. Her hair never seemed to rebel regardless of the weather. She flaunted her perfect hair like a beauty pageant queen, but it was never enough to get our mother’s attention.  My brother, Randy’s hair, was golden ringlets always made me think of butterscotch lifesavers the way they appeared to be lighter than darker on the edges. Those ringlets became his badge as he slid into his lifestyle. At the time, I envied each of my sibling’s hair because it had personality, whereas mine hung like a limp dishrag on a towel bar. My long red hair didn’t shine or even wave.  Why did I end up with a mass of red hair that lacked fiery inspiration?  In a moment of frustration or maybe teenage resistance, I cut it off right at the elastic where it was reined in at the top of my head in a ponytail.  I felt joy losing the stringy strands. My rash act was the beginning of my rebellion to be me.   Who knew that bold act of courage would open the door to years of exploring different hairstyles and experiencing heartbreaking times with no hair from chemo  I learned my hair doesn’t define what’s inside me, it occasionally compliments it. 

Amusingly, after chemo, my hair grew back wavy and is just as unruly as my brother Rick’s.  Yay, of all them he’s the one I’m glad we look alike. ©

I chose Fast Car by Tracy Chapman today. My appointment for the MRI is today at 4:00 pm.  Part of me still has the urge to flee and the other part just wants to get there and back so it’s done. It has loomed over me long enough. I understand needing all the diagnostic information to determine the course of action…but it feels like we’re moving at a tortoise pace. That impatient child in me isn’t really gone, she just tires quicker than she wants to admit.

“You got a fast car
I want a ticket to anywhere
Maybe we make a deal
Maybe together we can get somewhere

Anyplace is better
Starting from zero got nothing to lose” ~ Tracy Chapman